Choosing the better part

Choosing the better part

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Vulnerability of Passionate Love: The Desire of Christ Meeting Our Desire

How is it that we are to understand and more importantly enter into the desire of our Lord?  What is it that makes it concrete and real for us and what is it that will allow it to take hold of our hearts in such a way as to be transformative?  The answer to these questions is probably not what we want to hear; but hear and embrace it we must if we are to taste and experience the depth of God's infinite love for us.  We must make ourselves or rather allow ourselves to be vulnerable in our love and desire for God; like Him we must stretch ourselves out in a loving embrace and in that radical vulnerability allow ourselves to be broken and poured out in love for Christ and others.

There is a profound resistance within us to such vulnerability and we fear the shame of it.  But it is in the very wounds of Christ - it is in uniting our wounds, our brokenness to His, that we experience the deepest and most profound intimacy.

In his work, The Passion of the Lamb, Fr. Thomas Acklin, OSB reminds us that "Jesus did not come to make human desire irrelevant or to abolish desire; he came to fulfill it.  Yet in fulfilling it he shows us much about ourselves, about human desire and about human love."

Fr. Acklin explains that it is important to recall "that the Latin verb patior, besides meaning 'to suffer or feel deeply,' also means 'to lie open or be vulnerable.'  The word vulnerability comes from the Latin noun vulnus, vulneris, meaning 'wound.'  To be vulnerable is to lie open, to be exposed to being wounded, and the wounds of Christ crucified are the emblems of his passion."

"Not only our passion but also our vulnerability is a very important and personally intimate place of contact between Christ's life and our human lives, as well as between Christ's death and our own approach to death. . .  . We see the vulnerability of the divine Son - of the infinite, divine Person - in his taking on a finite human form or nature, become one of us.

In the vulnerability of our own passion, we marvel at and share in the infinite vulnerability of his passion.  We embrace our passion in embracing his, pressing our wounds against his. . . . This means realizing that the desire to share in his passion is already the union with him we are seeking.  Somehow the blood of my wounds and of my desire is already flowing into his wounds, and the blood of his wounds into mine.

If we are to love him here, we must become vulnerable in the vulnerability of the passion.  If we wish to receive him and adore him in the abiding fruit of his love and his passion in the Eucharist, where the infinite Son of God lets himself be exposed and gives himself with unlimited vulnerability under the appearances of bread and wine, we must ourselves become vulnerable and live the passion of our vulnerability in the vulnerability of his passion.  This is how all things will be made new, how every tear will be wiped away" (Passion of the Lamb, pp 7-10).

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